Four aspects of Filipino society that are unlikely to change, even in a Duterte presidency

A typical evaluation, or discussion of the Duterte administration, usually begins with this underlying premise: Rodrigo Duterte was elected because Filipinos wanted change. For sure, Rodrigo Duterte is different in more ways than one. He is the first president who hails from Mindanao; as such, people are expecting a sort of “outsider’s perspective” from him, […]

What do basketball, karaoke, and democracy, all have in common in the Philippines?

Basketball, karaoke, and democracy, are favorite pastimes in the Philippines. All three are things Filipinos like to associate with being Filipino. We like to think of ourselves – and are proud of it – as the most basketball-crazy country in the region. When it comes to social gatherings, and Filipinos are involved, everyone is expected […]

Will the Pinoy Way ever work?

The Pinoy Way is that set of behaviors, mannerisms, and cultural idiosyncrasies which have become a staple and hallmark of Filipino culture and society as we see it manifest today. Filipino culture is seemingly built up on three pillars of dysfunction. This means that all the observed dysfunctional behaviors of Filipinos as of yet (I […]

The Philippines’ “Me First” attitude results in a backward society

Ako Muna (“Me First!”) mentality. It’s one of those renowned Filipino character traits. You see it in the way Filipinos drive — how they find no issue in rudely squeezing into your lane; no thank you wave for inconvenience caused. When queuing for your turn at a McDonald’s you have to be vigilant, lest some […]